Learnings from the first weekend of the literary festivalsby Serena Kutchinsky / May 27, 2015 / Leave a comment
Much intellectual fun was had in Hay-on-Wye over the long and surprisingly rain-free bank holiday weekend. The Prospect stall on the Hay festival site did a roaring trade in subscriptions, with the book-loving crowd tempted by our special festival offer of 3 issues for £1, plus a free bottle of wine. Notable names who dropped by to meet readers and discuss ideas included the academic and author Anatol Lieven, Daily Mail columnist Peter Hitchens and the social geographer Danny Dorling.
Among my personal highlights were a thought-provoking session at How The Light Gets In on Monday 25th May debating the future of the Left and Right construct in today’s politics. On the heavyweight panel were Labour policy chief and MP Jon Cruddas, rising Tory star Charlotte Leslie (MP for Bristol North West) and the Chairman of the Open Data Institute Nigel Shadbolt. Despite their different political standpoints, the panellists did agree that a cross-party consensus on the benefits of a data-driven approach to open governance is indeed rendering the old political axis redundant. This lead us on to consider how transparent government should be in this information age, and the perils and promises this transformative opportunity presents.